BART receives $2.9 million state security grant
By Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News Service
August 24, 2006
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger announced Wednesday that he's authorizing
$2.9 million grant to "enhance security" for the 326,000
riders who use Bay Area Rapid Transit every day.
BART officials weren't immediately available for comment on how
the money will be spent.
Schwarzenegger's office reported the exact enhancements to be
made to BART and the specific funding allocations are classified,
but the grant comes via the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Providing better security for mass transit systems is a priority
because they've become a high-profile target for terrorists in
recent years, according to Schwarzenegger's announcement.
Examples are terrorist attacks in Madrid, London and Mumbai and
attempts on the New York subway system.
Schwarzenegger directed the new money to BART after San Francisco
Mayor Gavin Newsom and Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown wrote a joint
letter on July 14 stating that BART has "a serious security
issue" and asking for the governor's "immediate assistance."
The mayors told Schwarzenegger, "Like you, we are disappointed
by the overall level of federal security funding that California
and the Bay Area received this year from the U.S. Department of
Newsom and Brown said it's a priority to "harden a critical
asset on the BART system" and the security project should
be completed "as soon as possible."
In announcing the funding today, Schwarzenegger said, "Public
safety is my No. 1 priority, and with the five-year anniversary
of Sept. 11 less than a month away and subsequent terror attacks
in cities around the world, we need to always remain vigilant
and continue to strengthen the security of all potential targets."
Schwarzenegger's office said the funds are directed from available
federal homeland security funds, including the state's portion
of the federal government's Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI)
grant to fix a unique vulnerability in the train system.
California is allowed to distribute up to 20 percent of the UASI
grants as it finds appropriate. Schwarzenegger directed that the
$2.9 million be allocated to enhance BART security.
Schwarzenegger's office said it worked closely with the federal
Department of Homeland Security and BART to both identify "this
unique vulnerability" and find the funding needed to fix
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